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The Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) is a governmental research institution and, as a specialist authority, it advises the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in all matters of safety and health and of the humane design of work on a scientific basis.
The basis of BAuA's scientific competence, which is essential to enable it to carry out its tasks appropriately, is quality-assured research and development which provides interdisciplinary and solution-oriented links between internal and external know-how. BAuA's research and development are closely related in terms of their content; development normally pursues the implementation of research results while at the same time providing major impetus for new, in-depth research endeavours.
The BAuA's research and development is geared to the principles of modern research to assist the Federal Government. It is therefore dedicated in particular to the model of a continuously assured, high professional level in R&D by means of consistent quality assurance, participation in national and international competition and the encouragement of young scientists, as well as networking within the scientific landscape.
The strategic programme of action published by the BAuA in 2006 provided for a wide range of activities for the next 10 years in a total of 45 focal working areas in order to attain BAuA's strategic objectives. Within the BAuA a further process of strategic focussing took place as a result of the evaluation of the Federal Institute conducted by the German Council of Science and Humanities. In addition to the concentration of content, a greater differentiation was also undertaken into focal areas with a view to strategy-based programme research and programme-oriented development. This is intended to take better account of the special features of the scientific functions of a governmental research establishment with a view to more effective organisation of R&D management, quality assurance and information and communication processes. The aim of this procedure is to provide sustainable assurance and long-term development of BAuA's specialist effectiveness despite limited R&D resources in the core areas.
The fact that the content of BAuA's research and development is to undergo a focussing process will mean that, in the area of project organisation, there will be a tendency in future towards more combined projects and project clusters, accompanied by a substantial decline in single projects covering a wide range of subjects. The aim is to build up a greater, cross-structure, project-related collaboration within the organisation, thus amalgamating the existing interdisciplinary competencies more closely and making more effective use than hitherto of specialist synergies. Such project combinations are handled primarily by BAuA scientists; the external contracting of projects is intended to complement the Institute's own R&D activities in an appropriate way, but not to replace them, and is associated in each case with strategic co-operations.
With a view specifically to the changing world of work, long-term focal research topics in the BAuA are therefore:
BAuA's development activities cover a wider range of subjects than the focal research concerns. They take up the results of targeted in-house research activities and the relevant state of R&D and use them in applying concrete solutions to cover the practical and organisational needs of policy-making, the establishment of national and international regulations and corporate practice.
In its development domain BAuA also concentrates on longer-term "product lines" to sharpen its profile, especially in the fields of: